Sycamore Island
Meeting Minutes

July 13, 2011

Lucky and Bill Marmon, Drew Walsh, Tryon Wells, Ann Marie Cunningham, Alan Gelb, John Membrino, Joe Membrino, Jim Drew, Larry Heilman, Richard Bertaut, Maria Stenzei, Gerald Stanley Barton, Marianne Ross.

Before the meeting, club members gathered along the river bank to grill chicken and hotdogs and share salad and desserts. It was a gorgeous, cool evening.

Jim Drew called the meeting to order, allowing time for Tryon Wells and Gerry to give us an update on Caretaker Joe Hage’s 90-mile kayaking adventure down the river. Hopefully, Joe will share the details of his trip with members before the August meeting.

Members were saddened to learn of the death of Star Mitchell’s 50-year-old daughter. Several Islanders attended the funeral at a small Catholic church in Berryville, Va. The Recording Secretary will send condolences on behalf of club members.

Treasurer’s Report:
Alan Gelb reported on the State of the Budget. The Club started the year with a Treasurer’s balance of $68,309. As of June 30, the balance was $103,176. The account had received $88,500 in transfers from the Financial Secretary. This is more than the $83,000 for 2010 because of the dues increase, which was needed to compensate for the loss of interest income. Spending was $53,627. Of this, $9,254 was payment on the construction notes, so that operational spending was $44,373. Our budget for 2011 is $79,098, which means that we have $34,725 for the second half of the year.

First-half spending usually includes a number of large items, especially insurance. We pay almost $9,000 for flood (FEMA), liability and commercial property insurance. Our insurance costs have tended to increase over time, partly because of rate increases and partly because our coverage is higher with the new construction. In addition, we had the renovation of the Captain’s float and vital work on our water system. In total, these expenses came to some $14,7000. Other spending for the first half has been about $30,000 — a very reasonable level.

Barring unexpected circumstances, such as flood damage, major system repairs,or supercharged beavers eating away the facilities,we are in good shape to finish up close to our budget and with income and matching spending.

Alan explained that he always renews the FEMA insurance because it is unlikely we could get it back if we let it go.

Captain’s Report:
Various schemes were discussed for having running water and a working toilet during the winter months. Some involved moving lockers or running an insulated pipe across the corridor and boxing in one of the stalls in the ladies’ room. It was noted that having running water in the kitchen could be problematical, but if it’s just water that is wanted, it could be done by making a larger enclosure in the men’s bathroom that would enclose the sink.

Membership Committee:
Bill Marmon reported that the Special Membership Committee, which is charged with deciding future membership policy, met on May 23. Major issues incuded whether or not to require sponsors, whether to accept new members from two different age groups—below forty and over forty, whether or not to have a waiting list and should it be capped, and whether criteria for membership should be subjective or objective. Straw polls were taken on these issues within the committee.

It was suggested that the committee, which is small, put a preliminary report on the club website. It should include the committee’s recommendations as well as the alternative views on the various pieces of these issues. There should be a mechanism that allows club members to participate in the discussion. Some suggested that there should be survey of club members. The next meeting of the membership committee will be held at the home of Bill Marmon, 4921 Cumberland Avenue, on July 19 at 8:00. Bill will post a report after this meeting.

Canoe Committee:
John Membrino reported that only three persons showed up for the recent canoeing class, but even so “they had a great time.” John expressed the hope that the canoe painters could be hooked efficiently to the shed.

Swimming Committee:
Larry Heilman reported that progress is being made on installing poles and roles and whistles on the various floats. There was a discussion about whether bags containing ropes or rings or torpedoes were the best solution for river rescues. Tryon noted that rope quality matters on these devices.

Larry wants to find a device that one can put sling over the shoulder and take out. It was recommended that Larry consult with the Cabin John River Rats rescue person about procedures and equipment. Larry recommended that floatation devices, such as noodles, not be available on the dock as they give false security to poor swimmers.

Old Business:
Once again, there was unanimous praise for the dance held on the Island in late June and a recommendation that it be made an annual event. There was a brief discussion about various housekeeping issues ... clean toilets, dirty floors ... with the question raised about whose responsibility it is to do them. No clear answer was given. It was proposed that there be a foot-level faucet in the outdoor shower so that members could rinse off their feet before entering the club house.

New Business:
The Fishing Derby will take place on August 20.

The Old Timers Picnic:
Lucky will check will John Noble to come up with a time in late September or early October for this event.

Next Meeting:
The next meeting will be held on August 10 on the Island at 8:00 p.m. Come early and enjoy dinner together.

Respectfully Submitted,

Lucky Marmon
Co-recording secretary